Wednesday, September 19, 2007

chicka whata?

that's what jake asked when i told him the name of the food simmering on the stove. it smelled delicious, looked, eh, and tasted somewhere in between.
it's called chicken tikka masala, and the story goes like this: the 1970s, a plateful of overcooked chicken tikka--boneless, skinless chicken chunks, skewered and cooked in a tandoor oven--was sent back to the kitchen of a London curry house by a disappointed patron. The Bangladeshi chef acted quickly, heating canned tomato soup with cream, sprinkling Indian spices, and pouring it over the chicken before sending it back....diners worldwide (including India) fell in love with the...chicken. It went on to overtake... fish and chips as the "true national dish" of Great Britain. (from cook's illustrated magazine).
so i made this tonight, and it was a lot more time intensive than the recipes i usually follow (my repetiore consists of mainly rachael ray 30 minute meals, supplemented by martha stewart everyday food.) so much so that i completely forgot you're supposed to serve it over rice! i did have some naan (indian flat bread) from trader's, so that took the place of the starch. turns out, i like the chicken--the tikka, if you will--pre-dunking it in the sauce a LOT. more than the dish as a whole...i think i will use that part of the recipe for other chicken dishes, or just eat it plain. yum!
Chicken Tikka Masala
This dish is best when prepared with whole-milk yogurt, but low-fat yogurt can be substituted. For a spicier dish, do not remove the ribs and seeds from the chile. If you prefer, substitute 2 teaspoons ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper for the garam masala. The sauce can be made ahead, refrigerated for up to 4 days in an airtight container, and gently reheated before adding the hot chicken. Serve with basmati rice.

Chicken Tikka
1/2 teaspoon
ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon
table salt
2 pounds
boneless, skinless chicken breasts , trimmed of fat
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (see note above)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Masala Sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
medium onion , diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 fresh serrano chile , ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced (see note above)
1 tablespoon
tomato paste
1 tablespoon garam masala (see note above)
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon
table salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup
chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine cumin, coriander, cayenne, and salt in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, and ginger; set aside.
2. FOR THE SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, chile, tomato paste, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, sugar, and salt; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.
3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.
4. Let chicken rest 5 minutes, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.
pictured with sauteed spinach with garlic and toated, buttered naan, but sans rice! duh!


Inside the Pages said...

Looks good. How does the naan taste? I don't know that I've ever had any, but my mind seems to think it is tasteless.
This is totally unrelated to your post, but how did you get that goodreads sidebar with book covers?

Inside the Pages said...

One more thing...send me Kasey's email address so I can invite her to view my blog. Either that or I need to rethink some of my topics (delete some blogs) and open it to the public. What are you doing?

kgn said...

it's in the section called "widgets" on the "my books" page. there are a few different options: read, currently reading, etc. you choose which drop down you want and then copy and paste the code. i have one on myspace, too.

naan is good, but i like any sort of bread. it's better fresh, from an indian restaurant, but trader joe's is good. i could see how some could find it flavorless, but i like it.

kgn said...

it's open...but not very many people know about the site...